Autumn has arrived, bringing beautiful vibrant colours in the hedgerows and trees, very changeable weather from clear blue skies, watery sunshine, cool fresh air, Autumn mists, rain, early frosts and the final harvests of fruits and vegetables, wheat and corn. So much to be thankful and grateful for!
I love Autumn in its entirety. Yesterday I spent the afternoon working in my garden. I knelt in the dirt pulling weeds, clearing the remnants of the vegetable patches and finding the odd potatoes still hidden in the soil, I felt truly alive and blessed.
Working with the soil can also reconnect us with childhood memories. At one point, when I pulled out a weed and saw an earth worm wiggle to the surface, I remembered my fascination with these little creatures as a young girl and my Dad telling me about their importance to the soil and the words of a song we used to sing about them came humming in my head. I smiled to myself and could almost hear Dad chuckling to himself.
As I worked pulling weeds and moving dirt, I could feel my body relax. My mind settled and I began to lose myself in the moment. The stress and tension in my neck and shoulders seemed to pour out of my hands into the earth where I imagined it magically transformed into positive energy, energy that would be used to fuel new growth.
All worries of the Covid 19 Virus and the stress it has bought onto the world left my mind and I realised how the earth and nature just carries on regardless. It lets go and it releases, it doesn’t hold on to anything, and it re grows and refreshes just as we do. The winter comes and earth rests and maybe the Covid is teaching us in some way to rest, refresh and then go forth in a more positive way. That it will be ok, we will return and grow again.
I thought about how different our world is today than just twenty, thirty or forty years ago.
Back then many of us experienced a connection with nature every day in someway . We created and tended to vegetable gardens, we hung clothes out to dry.(Which I still do)
As Children we spent hours playing in the garden, fields and backyards with very few things to distract us from the natural toys of nature.
I loved being outside especially in Autumn, kicking leaves, picking berries, playing conkers, digging in the dirt, climbing trees, walking in the woods. Looking for toadstools and the faeries that lived under them J paddling in puddles, walking in mud, watching the birds and the squirrels.
It made me think about how important it is to give children the experience of being connected to the earth.
When we encourage them to play outdoors or to plant a garden, we teach them to care for the natural world. We also foster respect for the environment while feeding their minds with the beauty of nature.
During lockdown in these testing days of the Covid 19 Pandemic many adults and children re connected to nature and once again realised the value of nature to our well-being. Those fortunate to have gardens really benefitted and it really helped them through a very difficult time. There is suddenly a growing trend for people and children to once again connect to nature and value it. Climate change is also upon us and this too has been really brought home to many. Perhaps this will be one of the good things to come from the Virus, a renewed respect for mother earth and the life she gives us.
In many ways, technology (and our busy lives) have interfered with our connection to the earth. We buy fruits and vegetables from a grocery store, dry clothes in a dryer, or hire others to mow the lawn and work in the garden. Either because we have no time, or we don’t know how, or we don’t want to work ‘hard’ and would rather play on facebook or Instagram or social media and not really be totally connected anywhere to anyone including our self.
Think about it. When was the last time you spent an afternoon outside working in the garden? Do you still mow your lawn, rake the leaves, or plant flowers or vegetables? Putting your hands in dirt has a grounding effect on your body and mind. Walking with bare feet on the grass, or soil earths’ you and brings such a calm to the body. Try it and see how you feel.
When we work with and watch nature and observe its beauty and its gifts, we will often find reserves of strength that will endure as long as our life lasts and will help us through all hard and trying times.
There is a symbolic beauty in the changing seasons, the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, There is something truly healing in the continuity of the seasons, the constant changes of each day of each season, the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter, the setting of the sun and rising of the moon. The pleasures of the natural world are available to anyone. It doesn’t matter who you are.
So, this message is simple, ‘Go outside!’ Enjoy the weather in whatever way it is showing its self. Take a deep breath, revel in the sights and sounds of the natural world, be grateful!
Find that little child inside you again that used to build tree houses, dig dirt with a spoon or bare hands, watch the worms wiggle, ate the fruits on the hedgerows, scrumped apples from the neighbours trees ( they always tasted the best ) or play in puddles.
And know that this Virus and these difficult times will pass and life will go on, and that there is really so much to be grateful for. That nature has so much to teach us, and can help our well-being if we will just take the time to notice and allow it to teach us.